Even the late President Corazon Aquino admitted that her son, President Benigno Aquino III, is not a "natural politician," a U.S. diplomatic cable sent before the 2010 elections showed.
Mrs. Aquino herself shared doubts about her son's political career with former U.S. Ambassador Kristie Kenney, the diplomat claimed in a secret message that has since been declassified and published in WikiLeaks.
The cable was sent to inform Washington of Aquino's expected bid for the presidency, after his fellow Sen. Mar Roxas said he is passing on to Aquino the Liberal Party standard.
"[M]ost political observers, including his late mother, agree that he is not a natural politician, lacking the charisma and aggressive political agenda that usually propels political candidates," Kenney said in the cable.
The U.S. diplomat further said Cory told her that "it had taken a massive effort by the entire Aquino clan... to get Noynoy elected to the Senate."
Mrs. Aquino reportedly said they had to rely on the popularity of her youngest daugther, actress Kris, her husband basketball star James Yap, as well as her own political pull.
Aquino, who has then served out his three terms as Tarlac second district representative, ranked sixth in the 2007 senatorial race with more than 14.3 million votes.
Meanwhile, Kenney described the President's record as a legislator "lackluster." "He has not played a leading role in the House or Senate, and his views on many controversial issues remain unknown," Kenney said.
She noted, however, that the U.S. Embassy is "not aware of any corruption allegations against [Aquino]" and that his "uncontroversial nature" is seen to boost his image as "clean".
The U.S. diplomat also compared Aquino's foray into presidential politics to that of his mother's, who had been catapulted into the presidency by the assassination of her husband, Sen. Benigno Aquino, Jr.
"Just as the 1983 assassination of Senator Ninoy Aquino propelled his wife, Cory, into presidential politics, so too her death has unexpectedly transformed the political landscape, launching her son on a quest for the presidency," Kenney said.
But the public clamor for Aquino to seek the top government position, Kenney addmitted, showed how Filipinos hoped to see change after the controversies which hounded the Arroyo administration.
"At the very least, Aquino's rapid ascent to the front ranks of presidential contenders illustrates the deep revulsion at all levels of Philippine society with the widespread corruption and influence peddling that has characterized Philippine politics in recent years," the diplomat said.
Malacanang has earlier noted that it will not comment on issues resurfaced by secret diplomatic cables bared by WikiLeaks.
Related slideshow: Aquino welcomes Brunei Sultan in PH